Rogue trader who ripped off customers for shoddy work fined thousands of pounds

PUBLISHED: 08:00 04 June 2018

North Somerset Courthouse.

North Somerset Courthouse.

Archant

A rogue trader who conned customers out of hundreds of pounds for shoddy work has been rapped in court for the second time.

James Maloney, of Hewish, was forced to fork out more than £2,000 after charging five times the going rate for a poorly-finished driveway.

Maloney, of Moorland Park, appeared before Bristol Crown Court on May 30, where he pleaded guilty to an offence in breach of the Fraud Act 2006.

He avoided jail, being sentenced to 100 hours unpaid work and ordered to pay a total of £2,285 in compensation, costs and victim surcharge.

Working under the moniker of Design Lay Paving, Maloney claimed he applied two coast of sealer to a driveway he laid in Langford.

But experts found no trace of sealer on the drive, and estimated the cost of the job – which he charged £1,500 for – was between £170-300.

Maloney was prosecuted by North Somerset Council’s trading standards team, which first took him to court last year when he ripped off a customer from Winscombe with an almost identical scam.

Then trading as New Style Driveways, he falsely claimed to have sealed a driveway and was sentenced to 80 hours unpaid work and was ordered to pay £2,000 in compensation and costs.

The court heard the second offence was committed while Maloney was awaiting sentencing for the Winscombe scam.

Speaking after Maloney’s sentencing, the council’s executive member for trading standards, Peter Bryant, vowed the authority will lead a clampdown on North Somerset’s rogue traders ‘who show scant regard to the law’.

He said: “We will continue to protect our residents from rogue traders and crackdown on people like Maloney who show scant regard to the law.

“Those providing services to our consumers have a duty to uphold the law and provide a fair and honest service.

“Our advice is to always obtain several quotes before agreeing to home maintenance work, use local businesses that have been recommended by friends or family where possible and never rush into a contract.

“Take time to think and shop around for the best deal.”

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